Recently, my sweet little niece turned the big “ONE”. She (who I’ll refer to as “Ladybug”) may not be my niece by blood, but she is so near and dear to my heart that she might as well be! As I perused aisle after aisle, in store after store, for just the right birthday gift, I realized that nothing was good enough for my little Ladybug.
I raided my stash of fabrics for some inspiration and came up with the perfect answer to my gift dilemma – A handmade DOLL! What little girl doesn’t like a new doll??
After a bit of online digging, I discovered a tutorial with a free video and free pattern on Martha Stewart’s site and that’s how I learned about Black Apple dolls. (The creator of Black Apple dolls has a blog which is in my list of “Blogs I Enjoy” to the right.)
As soon as I saw them, I fell in love. They have a beautiful simplicity but preciousness about them. The pattern and directions were fairly easy to follow, and before I knew it, I had a lovely little doll sitting in front of me.
I used a soft tan flannel for the doll’s face and arms and quilting fabrics for her body, legs and hair. I designed a small collar to add to her dress. Adds a certain je-ne-sais-quoi, no? (Yep, I’m a fancy girl who can throw a little French around.) Polyfill stuffing was used to fill her up. The tutorial suggests using some rice to give some weightiness to the body but I wasn’t sure that would allow for the doll to be machine washable. (I suspected and hoped that this doll would get lots of wet kisses and food-ey finger prints from Miss Ladybug; being machine-washable was a priority.)
Once the doll was stitched and filled up, things got fun AND a little scary for me! What little accessories can I add? Do I give her a sleepy face, excited face or a happy face? OMG…What if I make her and she is HIDEOUS or ANGRY-looking??
I sucked up my fear of somehow messing the doll up and decided to give her a serene happy look. However, since I didn’t trust my acrylic painting skills to create her face, I used a Sharpee. To add that signature rosy-cheeked doll look, I brushed on some of my own fancy blush. I messed around with the idea of a bow in her hair but then settled on a flower, incorporating the fabrics I used for her body/legs.
And here she is, sitting pretty…ready to make a very special little girl happy!
My own version (slice) of a Black Apple Doll.
This is the very first doll I’ve ever created so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart, just like my Ladybug!
Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!